Baseball Ends Slide, Beats SLU, 9-5

LSU's Blake Dean
LSU's Blake Dean
Chris Parent (@chrisparent)
Chad Vignes
Chad Vignes

BATON ROUGE, La. -  Homers by right fielder Mikie Mahtook and first baseman Blake Dean erased a 5-4 deficit in the sixth inning and powered No. 15 LSU to a 9-5 victory over Southeastern Louisiana Tuesday night in Alex Box Stadium.

With the win, the Tigers (33-13) snapped a seven-game losing skid and improved to 10-1 this season in mid-week contests. Southeastern dropped to 33-14 with the loss.

LSU will be back in action this weekend when it hosts SEC foe Vanderbilt in a three-game series beginning Friday at 7 p.m., in Alex Box Stadium.

"It feels great to get a win, I almost feel like we should have had a dogpile at the end of the game," joked LSU coach Paul Mainieri. "I'm so happy for our players; they've continued to work hard during this tough stretch, and I thought they gave a great effort tonight. We had several key hits and we turned a couple of double plays in crucial situations. It was a very important victory for our team."

LSU was led offensively by Dean, who went 3-for-5 with a homer, a double and two RBI, and left fielder Alex Edward, who went 3-for-5 with an RBI. Mahtook, Leon Landry, Austin Nola and Tyler Hanover also collected two hits apiece.

The winning pitcher for the Tigers was Ben Alsup (3-0) who threw one inning of relief and allowed only one run on one hit. LSU starter Austin Ross pitched four innings and struck out seven batters.

The Tigers got out to an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first after a two-out RBI single by Alex Edward. Dean scored from second on the play after lacing a two-out single through the left side and stealing second a few pitches later. Dean's single in the first was his 307th career hit, tying him for fourth on LSU's all-time hits list with Blair Barbier.

LSU increased its lead to 2-0 when the next batter, Leon Landry, roped a double into left field, scoring catcher Micah Gibbs from second.

The Lions cut the deficit to 2-1 in the third when centerfielder Cass Hargis ripped an RBI single up the middle, scoring Trey Martin from second. Later in the inning, Southeastern took a 3-2 lead after back-to-back RBI singles by Jeff Harkensee and Cody Gougler.

The Tigers quickly knotted the score at 3-3 in the bottom of the frame when Gibbs lined a sac fly RBI to deep right field to score Austin Nola from third. Nola singled to lead-off the inning and was followed by a Blake Dean double.

Southeastern broke the tie in the fifth and went up 4-3 after Cass Hargis led off the inning with a triple off LSU reliever Joey Bourgeois and scored on an RBI single by Justin Boudreaux.

LSU responded in the bottom of the frame when Landry lifted a sac fly RBI to centerfield, scoring Gibbs and tying the score at 4-4.

After the Lions took a 5-4 lead in the sixth, LSU responded when Mikie Mahtook blasted a solo homer over the left field wall with two outs to tie the score at 5-5. The homer was Mahtook's 12th of the season.

After Nola followed Mahtook's homer with a double down the left-field line, Dean crushed a two-run homer off the new reliever Justin Schneider, who came in after Nola's double, to give the Tigers a 7-5 lead. Dean's homer was his ninth of the season.

LSU reliever Paul Bertuccini made his 100th-career appearance when he entered the game with one out and one on in the seventh. Bertuccini struck out Joe Sparacino and Gibbs threw out Gougler trying to take second to end the inning. Bertuccini pitched 1.2 innings and did not allow a baserunner.

The Tigers took an 8-5 lead in the seventh when Landry scored from third on a passed ball. In the same at-bat, Tyler Hanover lifted a sac fly RBI to right, scoring Matt Gaudet and putting LSU up 9-5.

LSU right-hander Anthony Ranaudo closed out the ninth inning with a pair of strikeouts, and forced a groundball out to end the game with the bases loaded.




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